My oh my didn't the Dervaese family step squarely into a home made cow pie. These folks have apparently been among the more well known advocates of urban homesteading. Using their website and their numerous blog sites their personal urban homestead has become very well known.

Although the family promotes a share the wealth philosophy that philosophy seems to have been a casualty of an ill conceived trademark land grab. So far it has been a pr nightmare. They have been anointed with the kiss of death label "trademark bully". Based on what I have read, they seem like trademark dunces rather than trademark bullies.

For some reason these folks secured a federal trademark registration for the term URBAN HOMESTEAD. To identify a place- as in "your urban homestead?" Nope. The putative service mark identifies a laundry list of educational services. If you visit their website you will be hard pressed to find any service mark use of the term urban homestead. Indeed, these folks kindly provide visitors with a definition of the terms urban homestead and urban homesteading. Definitions that do NOTHING to advance their claim that the terms URBAN HOMESTEAD or URBAN HOMESTEADING are exclusively associated with their educational services.

But wait they say, we only object to the commercial use of "our " terms. That's like the owner of the shoe store saying "It's ok for my customers to use the term shoe but not ok for other shoe stores to use the term shoe." Lots of luck with that claim.

In the softly worded letter these folks sent out they kindly asked those using the terms urban homestead and urban homesteading to identify them as trademarks when referring to the Dervaese family. Only problem with that request? The Dervaese family has apparently never done so when referring to their own services. Again, their website is a treasure trove of bad trademark grammar. It can be a tall tall task indeed to ask a legal tribunal to enforce your rights in a word or phrase against third parties when you have utterly failed to properly use that word or phrase.

As a final infirmity, these folks are asserting trademark rights in the term URBAN HOMESTEADING based on a Supplemental Register registration!! I won't bore the reader with insider baseball but suffice it to say that I would think very long and very hard before I started throwing my weight around using a federally registered trademark from the Supplemental Register.

I suspect that it will be the collective wrath of their own kind that will force the Dervaese family to withdraw. If not, they may learn some very painful trademark lessons.


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